Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ComMission Completed

A portrait is a funny thing. You meet a person a couple of times and try to tap into what it is they're really after. It's about those secret fantasies and yearnings we have about ourselves and never really have the courage to admit in public. Taking a commission is kinda like being a chaplain again. Encouraging the sitter to open up and trust you to reveal something deeply personal about themselves.

And then you spend weeks and months with it building the layers of skin and fabric, building a likeness and a sense of sensuality about the surface. By the end I always feel as though I am brushing the skin of the sitter. That's when I know it's finished; when it has it's own life. And then I have to part with the person who has inhabited my space and life for all those weeks.

Marsha collected her portrait this evening, the rain just started and
and I can move on to the next piece.

Another Pot of Tea

It's a blustery Autumn day and perfect for playing with this new site. The cats are curled on my easel chair and under the lounge carpet, noses down. As I should be! So, another pot of tea and back to devising quirky, yet poignant compositions to delight and disturb... well hopefully.

So, to focus the mind: the art of composing; rules I have placed on myself to keep this new body of work coherent
the rules:

1. 12" x 12" (Small and compact, fast to paint!)
2. inspired by the notion of the vanitas (death and the fleetingness of life is always fun)
3. a scalene triangle of objects (well, I can't help it. I've been doing Ikebana for too many years)
4. There needs to be a face, ie on a ceramic figure or a clock, (for empathy)
5. things represent other things, ie a box represents a nest (symbols within symbols)
6. the objects must 'talk' to one another (because I like to talk to them too)
7. and the palette is drawn from 'small treasures'